1924 CITROEN 5CV C3 THREE SEATER 'CLOVERLEAF'
Registration No. Tba
Chassis No. Tba
Engine No. Tba
Engine: four cylinder, side-valve, monobloc, 586cc, 7.5hp; Gearbox: three speed manual; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf springs, rear, quarter elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: foot-operated transmission brake, hand brake on rear wheels. Left hand drive.
The cinq chevaux Citroen was announced in January 1921, and some 80,000 were built before the model was withdrawn in early 1926. The reason for their prolific manufacture and success was that they proved an excellent and virtually indestructible workhorse in service. Even well in to the 1950s examples could be seen in provincial France attending to their agricultural duties in, as the late John Bolster would have called 'that state of utter neglect of which only the French are capable'! The ability of the cars to run on a combination of faith, hope and binder twine endeared them to farmers and others with limited mechanical ability and the 5CV in effect became the Gallic equivalent of the Austin Seven, and was as well-loved. In Germany, it was made under licence by Opel and nicknamed the 'Laubfrosch' or tree-frog.
The earliest cars were all open two seaters, but later a pretty little cabriolet and three-seater 'Cloverleaf' or 'Trefle', such as this car was added to the range. With a slightly lenghtened wheelbase it offered centrally-disposed accomodation for a third passenger in the pointed tail. Improved magneto ignition and alloy pistons now enhanced the model's maximum speed to around the 45mph mark. In England Citroen's successful Cloverleaf model, retailed at £195.
James Allington purchased this 'Trefle' more than thirty years ago in France. Directed to the car by a friend who knew him to be a car enthusiast, he recently affectionately recalled being told 'you're a car nut there's something in that scrap yard for you'! Indeed there was, and much along the lines of John Bolster's comments, it was in poor order. It had been modified for truck use, in dark grey livery it even still wore its German permit number etched on the bodywork to have allowed it access to the food markets.
In recent years, he decided to restore the car, and to date the chassis has been stripped and painted, as have the wheels, it exists today as a rolling chassis with the bodywork loosely mounted. The body has been taken back to bare metal in preparation for painting and put back to the original configuration. Its wings and other metal work are in primer.
The car is understood to be complete, and owing to all its work being carried out on site in Mr Allington's home, we have no reason to doubt this, furthermore a wealth of additional spares are sold with the car.
An Allington line drawing cutaway (as illustrated) also comes with the car, which may help the successful purchaser with completion of the restoration.